Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Keepin' your head above water, making a wave when you can...

Writer's block

First, my apologies for being a bad, bad blogger. I have kept up with reading your blogs, but writing was beyond me for a while.

This post has been started several times over the last few weeks. Each time upon review it pretty much amounted to a bunch of whining. Venting is satisfying, but very often not that interesting for others to read. Maintaining a good attitude has been challenging taken all my energy for the last few weeks. 

Rider's block

O-ver! On Thursday I rode for the first time in maybe six weeks. A very quick and easy ride, bareback, as a thunderstorm rolled in. What a relief, though I will be reinstalling forward.

So, a number of things have kept Val and I from working...

weather - hurricane then nor'easter + over fifteen inches of rain in seven days. We were in a severe drought and needed rain, just not three months worth all at once. Enough already.

abysmal arena footing, although better since the rain, sort of. I've finally met with the contractor for my new arena to plan out the project - weather dependent of course. A happy new development is that we've arranged a trade for the work. Theoretical progress here.

mysterious leg swellings - the last episode was my first experience with stocking up. My recently acquired leg wrapping skills came in very handy once I got a clue that standing around in the run-in for days could cause fluid build-up. Val's hurricane experience apparently instilled a new-found respect for staying dry via his shelter. Happy that he's staying comfortable and I'll wrap preemptively next go-round.

horrid cracked up feet with thrushiness. Treatment: daily picking, Veterycin gel applied around the frog, painting the sole with Venice Turpentine + a seriously unskilled trimming job.

A note about trimming. I absolutely adore my horse! He was an angel, putting up with my abject ineptitude. Clouds of mosquitoes and flies surrounding us and me with no hoof stand and not exactly speedy. I used a chunk of piling to do the leg pulled forward filing work. And my inexpensive hoof nippers behaved accordingly. Comical! Val didn't move a muscle throughout. My only aim was to address the bent upwards chunks that were exposing above his soles, even out the length of foot and to do no harm. Hopefully I accomplished my goals. Sadly it may be another three weeks before our farrier can get back. Pix of the two fronts, before and after... none of them are level unfortunately.

Some news about our dressage education / guidance / mentorship. We're presently looking for someone to study with, and have been for months. It's confirmed now. My trainer is closing up shop. Suffice it to say the economy is a contributing factor. Not that I could go anywhere for lessons any time soon. We're on our own for real now. Will be exploring a couple of options once we can drive off island. Sad.

On the move

Circumstances have pushed our moving date into October, but things are progressing. I luckily (sooo lucky) found a storage facility - they're almost all gone due to numerous folks having storm damage. Lumber for a deck around the shimmy shack is arriving Monday. Not having a road onto the island is screwing up lots of things, including the delivery date of my new half hay shed / half studio building, but I have arranged for the foundation to be built at any rate. The utilities changeovers are scheduled. And I have been bestowed a physical address - which I was told at one point could only happen with a building permit. Very handy for when lumber deliverers and utilities switchers drop by. The real work of editing belongings begins in earnest now - by far my biggest challenge. I have found numerous ways to avoid dealing with my crap. Which I have too much of. It's officially crunch time. ;)


I made it off island last week for a full moon marathon hay run. A seventeen hour day all told with two ferry lines + rides added in. The hay is beautiful seventy pound bales of orchard grass, and now I may have enough to last through the end of the year. Highlight of the trip was a sublime nap on the boat ride home with lovely breezes blowing right into my truck as I got the best sleep in months on the pillow I remembered to bring. Low point was when I managed to cap off the day by taking a spill out of the back of the trailer after the hay hook suddenly let go of the bale I was trying to pry out while standing on another bale. I went flying backwards, landing flat on my back, halfway on and off the ramp. No major harm done. Yet another horse related activity that warrants wearing a helmet! ;)

And finally - Seven is such a spectacular kit-tehn. Smart, super snuggly, gets along well with others. Update on the extra toe count - grand total of twenty four. I had to do a kitten to cat comparison to confirm that cats don't usually have hind foot thumbs. And no, we don't have the world record, not with a mere twenty four toes. That would require twenty eight.

early start
big moon
sunrise from the ferry
waking up


  1. Wow - so much going on for you, but you seem to be handling everything with your usual grace!

    Hang in there. I am looking forward to the post where you are sitting on your deck after a great ride in the new arena, all the moving behind you!

  2. You are going through so much now and keeping your head.

    Great bareback ride. Probably the best thing to keep you sane and remind you why you are doing all of this.

    Good for you for trimming Val all by your lonesome. Val is a good boy to stand still. He knows you two are in this together. Sorry to hear about his stocking up and thrushiness. Glad you are keeping it "under wraps" by wrapping and picking. We had a touch of thrushiness too and picking incessantly was the answer for me.

    I still don't know how you are managing without access off the island. Your ferry rides sound and look lovely in the photos. Falling off the hay wagon is just another reason to ride, I say. My mother is always falling doing something that isn't riding. I tell her that she should have been on a horse if she was going to get hurt anyway.

    Good luck. You are learning just how strong you really are! Thinking good thoughts for you and Val.

  3. I was wondering how you were getting along. It's amazing what we can do when faced with the most difficult situations. I can't even imagine what you are going though to day to day. Heck, isn't it - if it doesn't kill us it'l make us stronger?

    Any rate - I think your trim job is just fine considering. I'm sure Val appreciates it. I wouldn't beat yourself up over it.

    Any idea on how long until at least one road is rebuilt?

    Hang in there - it can only get better right?

  4. Glad to hear you're doing OK, in spite of everything. This has been a difficult summer for many. Hopefully fall will bring better things.

  5. Great to hear from you! I am impressed by your good attitude and do not feel that wanting to vent makes you seem anything but human. You have been through the wringer. Riding your horse will help. :)

    Nice job on Val's feet. It also looks like he was beginning to self-trim.

  6. billie-

    Looking forward to that day too - the carrot I keep dangling in front of myself.


    Ha - I was thinking the same thing about falling down in the non horse situation lol.


    The estimates on road completion are anywhere from October 6th to mid November. Can't happen soon enough for me :)


    Thanks :)



    I didn't include pictures from before the nippers arrived, where I had snipped off the great honking chunks of hoof that were folded upwards with my hand pruners which, oddly enough worked better than the cheap nippers.

    I struggled with whether to let the chunks break off on their own, but they seemed to be encouraging cracks to run up the hoof - if that makes any sense.

  7. Holy cow...I hope the weather shapes up for you (and Val's feet).

    Sometimes the only good thing about plowing through rough times is that you gain experience and perspective for the NEXT rough time (and, of course, there will be more--that's life).

    You live in a beautiful place.

  8. I am so glad you were able to update here. I've been thinking about how you were holding up. I hope Val's feet are beginning to get better, good for you for tackling the trimming and such. I hope things continue to improve for you. Keep your ey on the prize! It's gonna be great! Be careful...

  9. I *totally* understand about the whining. This too shall pass!

    Val's feet look ok for now. His heels are too high but you won't be able to get them down til you get the thrush beat, so don't stress it.

  10. I'm so glad to hear from you, was beginning to wonder if you and Val were okay.

    Sounds like you've got a full plate but are handling it all with your usual steady attitude. Someday it will all be over and you'll be able to take a relaxing day once in a while. Exciting news about the arena, sad about your trainer though.

  11. So good to hear from you and Val! Wow girl you are one strong, resourceful and enduring woman! I am impressed.

  12. You're back! Yeah. I've been watching for you. Sounds like the hurricane and after math really sucked your energy. It's okay to write the so called whiney posts sometimes. Shit happens and it affects us.
    I'm also trying to reinstall the go button after some down time. Let me know if you figure out any short cuts :)
    The trim job looks great. You are very resourceful. Good luck looking for a new trainer.

  13. Hello!! Welcome back. You've had a lot on your plate. Hope things start to settle down for you soon.

  14. I'm so glad you are back to posting! I've missed you and wondered how you were doing. I'm impressed with your trimming job - it looks like you got the angle just right and that's so important.
    I can't imagine dealing with living on an island, with a washed out road, and everything else you've had to endure.
    Hang in there!

  15. Wow! You are doing a lot and learning a lot and seeing a lot! And because of your blogging, I get to be a part of it! I LOVE the hoof pictures and reading about your experiences there. This is where my horse has the most challenges, so I always like to hear the good, the bad and the ugly from other horse people.

    Thrush! Argh, don't you hate it? even the word 'thrush' is unattractive!

  16. Welcome back - sounds like you have a right to vent and/or whine if you want to!! Personally I think you are handling everything with a wonderful perspective we could all emulate.


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